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J Biomed Opt. 2005 Sep-Oct;10(5):051703.

Macro-optical color assessment of the pulmonary airways with subsequent three-dimensional multidetector-x-ray-computed-tomography assisted display.

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University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Department of Internal Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA.


Bronchial diseases alter the color and structural characteristics of the pulmonary mucosa through changes in blood flow, epithelial thickening, and abnormal cell growth. Current analysis of these subtle changes includes visual interpretation of the airway color and topography through bronchoscopy procedures, and quantitative multidetector-x-ray-computed-tomography (MDCT)-based structural analysis, each affording valuable insights to the health of the lungs. The fusion of the bronchoscopy and MDCT image data promises to provide a synergistic data set exhibiting both mucosal color and topography crucial to fostering an understanding of airway structure and function. A real-time airway color analysis imaging system is developed and utilized to perform pulmonary mucosal color assessment in healthy volunteers with subsequent comparative studies performed in example disease states. Our results indicate that macro-optical digital bronchoscopes with appropriate image analysis may have a significant impact on understanding bronchial diseases. To ensure the correct interpretation of scene content, which is critical in the assessment of airway topography, we are developing methods of extracting 3-D structure from 2-D bronchoscope images utilizing MDCT imaging techniques. The resulting 3-D true-color images of the pulmonary mucosa facilitate the combination of mucosal color and topography analysis as well as region of interest localization within the airway tree.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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